8 Tips for Safer, Smarter Hook Ups

Image from Bedsider

Image from Bedsider

If you’re getting it on and the getting is good, here are some ways to keep it safe.

Hooking up or “picking up” is suppose to be a fun way to explore your sexuality. And there is no shame in experiencing pleasure for pleasure sake. But as with any exploration, there is a set of basic rules that can keep you safe- both emotionally and physically.

We’re sex-positive here, so we figure if you decide hooking up is the thing for you we want to provide you with ways to do it safely and keep a smile on your face.

Here are Besider’s 8 Tips for Safer, Smarter Hook Ups.

In summary:

  • Before you hook up, get tested and know your status
  • Think and plan ahead about birth control and STI protection methods. Come prepared with more than one condom and/or sex dam
  • Always meet in public first
  • Know your boundaries and be able to communicate them clearly
  • Have an exit strategy in place in case things don’t feel right

This article was originally published on Bedsider.

BY BEDSIDER | Bedsider.org

Your friend wants to set you up on a blind date. Or you get a notification on your phone that you’ve got a match. Or you’re getting ready to go out, and that cute someone you’ve been talking to might be there. All situations that could potentially lead to fun; all situations that could potentially lead to sex. If a hookup might be in your future, here are some things to consider before, during, and after getting it on.

1. (STI) status update

Before you hook up, know your status for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Getting tested is a solid move because some STIs don’t show any symptoms, so you might not know if you have one—and leaving an STI untreated can lead to more serious problems. Here’s an extensive list of places to get tested for free, based on your location. If you use Tinder, you can take advantage of a new locator feature to find free places to get tested.

2. Birth control on lock

If you don’t want to become pregnant but you might have sex, make sure you are using a method of birth control that works for you. Some methods are more party-ready than others, so if drinking is part of the plan, consider methods that don’t require action right as things get steamy. And while you’re thinking ahead, toss some condoms in your bag for extra protection. (More on that in tip 6.)

3. Short and sweet, with a backup plan

Meeting someone new and not sure what to expect? It might be best to suggest date ideas that don’t require a long time commitment. Meet up for a drink or walk your dog together, and maybe have a suggestion in mind for a follow-up activity if things go well. On the flip side, if you’re really feeling the need to remove yourself from the situation, you can always text a friend to call you with an ‘emergency.’

4. Set your boundaries

Hooking up can mean sooo many different things. Think about what you are down for before you meet up with someone—if sex isn’t in the game plan, there are still plenty of ways to heat things up. Be direct about what you’re into and what you want. Communicating openly with your partner can help make your boundaries clear. (Bonus: It can also make sex hotter.)

A crucial note: if anything sexual happens that you or your partner don’t consent to, that is sexual assault. Here’s more information about sexual assault and what to do if it happens to you.

5. Sharing is (not always) caring

Yep, we’re talking STIs again. If you decide to take things up a notch, now is the time to whip out one of those bad boys you stuck in your bag earlier. Condoms are the only form of birth control that protect against STIs, so it’s worth rolling on a rubber even if you’re using another birth control method.

Remember you’ll need to use a condom or dental dam for any kind of sex—oral, anal, or vaginal—to make sure you’re covered against all STIs. Flavored condoms can be a great way to make safer oral sex more fun (and you can cut them in half to convert them into dental dams).

6. Safe travels

There are so many safety apps out there—some rely on friends to remotely track your journey while others automatically call the police if you are unable to interact with the app. But if you are feeling really sketchy about the trip, the best thing to do is spring for a ride.

7. Whoops

The condom broke. You forgot your pill. If there is a chance that a little swimmer has foiled your best intentions, that’s what emergency contraception (EC) is for. Most EC options work best if you use them ASAP, so it might be a good idea to buy some to have around before you need it. Or use our locator to find EC near you.

8. For next time…

It’s never a bad idea to stop and take stock. If your hookup was 10/10-would-do-again but you’re not looking for a relationship, continue to celebrate your no-strings-attached life. If the chemistry from last night has kept you thinking, maybe it’s worth reaching out to that person again. If this was one in a series of hookups that have left you feeling ‘ehhh,’ it may be time to evaluate whether what you’re doing is still working for you.

Be generous to yourself, make the choices that feel right, and remember that your choices shouldn’t define you. If you take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way, whether it’s embracing your single status, reveling in romance, or anything in between.

bedsiderBEDSIDER  is an online birth control support network for women operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. Bedsider is totally independent (no pharmaceutical or government involvement). Honest and unbiased, Bedsider’s goal is to help women find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively, and that’s it.
Find Bedsider on twitter @Bedsider

How to Choose Lube Best for Your pH Balance

Photo credit: Sander van der Wel

Photo credit: Sander van der Wel

Personal lube can be a fantastic companion. As we’ve discussed before at SS.Ed, most condom users don’t realize that a few drops of lube will greatly enhance pleasure and make sex more safe. Lube not only increases sensitivity, it also reduces friction and the risk of condom breakage.  Lube reduces irritation, dryness and can help prevent small tears that may cause infection in the body. And when it comes to anal, lube is a must use!

However, just as some lubes are better for anal sex, there are lubes that are more appropriate and sensitive to a woman’s natural chemistry. As Melissa White, CEO at Lucky Bloke explains, the right lube for your body will help keep your vaginal pH levels in healthy check. The wrong lube, however, may actually set your body off balance and cause overgrowth of “bad” bacteria that may lead to pungent odors and infections.

This is why Melissa recommends choosing products that state they are pH-matched.

Read the full article at SheKnows.com for more on why and how body-friendly lube will keep you healthy and sexy.

The Female Condom: Will It Get Stuck Inside Me?

Photo credit: Micheal Grogan

Photo credit: Micheal Grogan

The FC2 female condom (a.k.a. the “internal condom”) is one of the most recent innovations in safer sex technology. The FC2 is the only insertable contraceptive available that protects against both STIs and accidental pregnancy. However, because it is so different from traditional roll-on condoms, many are weary of using female condoms.

One of the most common concerns is that the female condom will get stuck inside the body. Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke, to the rescue, assuring us that it is impossible for the FC2 to disappear inside your body. In fact, she explains, there are many reasons to choose the FC2 over traditional latex condoms.

This post was originally published on Your Tango.

BY MELISSA WHITE | LuckyBloke.com

While the female condoms seems a bit confusing, it’s a great option for many women. We tell you why.

At Lucky Bloke, our mission is to lead you to the land of amazing sex with condoms. With a selection of the world’s best condoms at our fingertips, we’re here to prove that the right condom can actually improve your sex life. Got a question for the Lucky Bloke: Condom Experts? Let us answer your sex education inquiries so you can concentrate on having the hottest sex possible!

Dear Lucky Bloke,

I’ve heard that there is a female condom that you insert in your body and protects just as effectively as a regular condom. But why does it seems so large? And can it get stuck inside my body?

—Signed Perplexed in Pittsburg.

The FC2 female condom, which we prefer to call the “internal condom,” might seem oddly shaped at first, but that’s because it’s radically different from what we understand condoms to be. A female condom is actually similar in length to standard male condoms, but is a little wider.

When inserted, the condom forms to your internal walls and allows for movement of the penis inside the sheath. This is one of its many benefits. One size, actually, fits all!

Thus, penis size (nor knowing what condom size your man requires) is not a factor with female condoms making it an excellent option for those who find that traditional, roll-on male condoms never seem to fit quite right.

So contrary to your concern, there is absolutely no risk of the FC2 getting stuck or disappearing inside you. And you do not need to be fitted before use. There is an inner ring on one end that slips under your cervix. Then there is an open end with a soft ring which remains on the outside of the vagina. To remove the FC2, you simply twist the outer ring and gently pull the condom out.

The FC2 is growing in popularity. Many people like the advantage that condom size is not a factor for comfort and safety. Plus, it can be inserted up to four hours prior to sex, so no need to pause for intimate donning in the heat of the moment. And it’s latex free!

Another great bit of news is that the FDA is currently considering reclassifying the FC2 as a “class II” device. Why is this important? Currently, the FC2 is not in the same class as traditional condoms.

They are considered a “class III” medical device, putting them under the same safety restrictions as pacemakers and replacement heart valves, states the National Female Condom Coalition.

Moving FC2 into the new class would enable invention and testing of new and different female condoms designs. While the FC2 has made huge advancements in terms of non-latex offerings, it remains the only female condom currently available.

As we all know, product variety means safer sex option for all of us to choose and best suit our lives. What better reason than that?

Unsure what size

5 Ways to Have Hot (and Super Safe) Sex with Your Partner

Photo credit: Khanh Hmoong

Photo credit: Khanh Hmoong

Think you know everything about condoms? Just check the expiry date, unwrap and roll on…

Well, according to Lucky Bloke’s Global Condom Review, most people aren’t equipped with important condom know-how. The result? Most people are using the wrong condom. As Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke explains below, the majority of people who dislike condoms are wearing the wrong size, unaware that condoms come in at least three different sizes.

Contrary to popular belief, safer sex doesn’t mean compromising pleasure.  In this article, Melissa White offers simple techniques that will surely satisfy.

Amazing sex that is safe and worry free! What can be hotter than that?

This post was originally published on YourTango.

BY MELISSA WHITE | LuckyBloke.com

We truly believe that you can have steamy, hot sex with condoms.

Condoms and pleasure … not possible, you say? Through our Global Condom Review, we’ve proven that safer sex is even hotter than unprotected sex, and we’re ready to bring our expertise to your bedroom (or couch or dining room table).

Here are five easy ways to make sex with condoms even sexier:

1. Use the right size.

Quality and fit are as essential to condoms as they are to any other type of apparel. Could you imagine if bras were available in only one style and only one size? No way!

Don’t worry; if you didn’t realize that condoms come in multiple sizes, you’re not alone. In fact, most condom users have no idea and people who really dislike condoms often wear the wrong size.

Not sure what the perfect size is for you or your partner? All you need is an empty toilet paper roll. By inserting the erect penis into an empty toilet paper roll, you can figure out the perfect condom size by using the following guidelines:

2. Get creative with sex positions.

Putting on a condom is only awkward if you let it be. Instead, make it a hot sex move. Give your partner a sexy back view by climbing on top into a reverse cowgirl position and rolling the condom on yourself.

If you’re looking to spice things up further, use your mouth. Dab your lips with lube, then lightly suck the condom into your mouth with the nipple-end facing inward. Make sure you carefully wrap your lips over your teeth. Place your mouth at the head of his penis, push your lips against the ring of the condom, slide it down his shaft and unroll the rest with your hand. Voilà!

There’s no doubt that your partner will be impressed with your skills.

3. Don’t be afraid of lube.

Most condom users don’t realize that using lube with condoms dramatically increases pleasure for both partners.

Before you put on the condom, place two drops of lube inside. This increases sensation at the supersensitive head of his penis. Apply lube generously to the outside of the condom for increased pleasure. Once condom users experiment with lube they rarely go without.

Not sure which lube to choose? Try a lube sampler, which allows you to try out some of the world’s top lubes without investing in a whole bottle.

4. Make a V with your pointer and middle fingers, then place it between your legs.

Press it against the base of his penis as he thrusts. This gives him more stimulation where the condom is tightest, or most numbing.

5. Try a vibrating ring.

Many drugstores carry vibrating rings in their condom aisle; however, this is also an item you can pick up at an adult boutique. A vibrating ring is a plastic band attached to a buzzing nub. Place the band around the base of the condom, with the nub facing your clitoris, and enjoy the pulsating ride. Not only will you receive extra stimulation, but the vibrating sensations will also tease and tantalize your partner!

Ready to improve your sex life with condoms? Head on over to theCondomReview.com where you can buy the best condom samplers available, featuring the top-rated condoms from our recent Global Condom Review. (Based on the findings of 1100 Participants in 21 countries!) Curious about lube? We’ve got amazing lube samplers, too!

Unsure what size

Sexual History Should Not Be A Mystery

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BY MELANIE DAVIS, PhD | MelanieDavisPhD.com

When Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he wasn’t talking about sex; however, the aphorism is worth keeping in mind before you enter into a sexual relationship. Knowing a potential partner’s sexual history can help you make informed decisions about the level of risk you are willing to accept.

The following commonly asked questions illustrate why talking about your own and your partners’ sexual history is important.

Q. Asking about a potential partner’s sexual history seems so rude. How can I do it politely?

You needn’t ask for names, dates, and details. You do need enough information to assess any health risk you might expose yourself to. Be willing to share your own story. Start by giving your own answers to these questions, and then ask your potential new partner:

• Have you ever participated in intercourse (oral sex, vaginal sex, or anal sex) without a condom?
• Have you ever had unprotected sex with someone with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, or herpes?
• What were the results of tests for sexually transmitted infection (STIs) conducted after your most recent partnered sexual encounter (request the paperwork; people may lie about test results)?
• Have you or your partner(s) ever had sex with an injection drug user or have used recreational injection drugs?

Q. When is the right time to ask about someone’s sexual history?

Some people ask before they kiss or get emotionally involved. Others wait until the topic of sexual activity comes up. Share histories before you engage in any type of genital contact with someone. Pick a private place when you won’t be interrupted or overheard and when you are both relaxed. Assure your potential partner that you will keep the conversation confidential and that you expect the same in return.

Q. My lifelong partner died last year, and I’m ready to find a companion/lover. Should I hide the fact that I’ve only had one partner my whole life, so I don’t look like a prude?

Anyone who thinks badly of you because you were in a monogamous relationship is misguided. Your choice to remain faithful says a lot about the way you approach relationships. . If your partner was also monogamous throughout your relationship, you have much less chance of having ever been exposed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which makes you a low-risk partner. Protect your healthy status by using condoms if you engage in partnered sex.

Q. The woman I’m dating was in an abusive marriage. Is that why she’s holding back sexually?

Abuse can leave both physical and emotional scars, but don’t jump to conclusions. She may want to build a relationship prior to engaging in lovemaking; indeed, she may be just as eager as you are to have sex. Past relationships, healthy and not-so-healthy, are part of each person’s sexual history. Offer your story and invite her to share hers.

 

melanie_davisMELANIE DAVIS, PHD, consults with individuals and couples to help them build sexual knowledge, comfort, and pleasure through the New Jersey Center for Sexual Wellness.  Through her firm Honest Exchange LLC, she provides professional development in sexuality. She’s a popular speaker on self-esteem and body image, and the sexual impact of cancer, menopause and aging. She’s an AASECT-Certified Sexuality Educator. On Twitter @DrMelanieDavis

Are Condoms Uncomfortable? These 10 Non-Latex Options Can Help

Photo credit: Katla Romanova

Photo credit: Katla Romanova

Dislike latex? Your best non latex condom options may change your mind about condoms.

When it comes to condoms, latex is the most prolific material by far. But speckled across the sea of safer sex products is a growing number of alternative non latex condom options. There are many benefits to non latex condoms. As Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke explains, an increasing number of consumers find non latex more pleasurable. Not only are latex free condoms softer and odor-free compared to latex, they also transfer body heat better which heightens sensitivity immensely. There used to be only five latex fee options available. Today the number has doubled to include non latex condoms with more variety in size, lubrication, flavor and texture.

In this post, Melissa White lists all the non latex condoms available today. 

If you find condoms bought at the general drug store too rubbery, restricting or just all around unpleasant, consider these little johnnies. They will be your new token to sexual bliss.

This article was originally published on YourTango.com

BY MELISSA WHITE | LuckyBloke.com

If you or your partner find the traditional latex condom experience, shall we say…mediocre at best, the good news is there is more innovation in the non latex condom world than ever before. A variety of latex-free materials and styles are taking safer sex to new horizons in both safety and pleasure.

Non latex condoms are not merely for those with sensitivities. Not at all. Latex free condoms are typically softer and odor-free compared to latex; they also transfer heat and sensation much better than their latex counterparts. This means sex with them often feels much better for both partners.

Until recently, out of the hundreds of condoms available, there were only five latex free condoms to choose from. And none of these condoms offered any special features such as flavor, stimulating lubricant or ribbed texture.

To further the frustration, most non latex condoms still focus on the 50% of men who need a “standard” size condom or the 15% requiring a “larger” size, while ignoring the 35% of men who need a more tailored condom.

If you or your partner feel that condoms are getting in the way of the best possible sex, I can’t emphasize enough how fundamental proper condom fit is to both safety and dramatically enhanced pleasure when it comes to condom use.

Here’s a condom size guide to help you determine your (partner’s) best condom fit.

The good news is that condom brands are catching on and much of the ongoing innovation focuses on non latex condoms. In 2014, three new non-latex condom options arrived on the scene. This non latex condom primer is guaranteed to improve your (safer) sex life:

  1. LifeStyle’s SKYN was the first premium condom made from polyisoprene — a scientifically formulated non-latex material that delivers a more natural, sensitive feel than latex. Many couples who try polyisoprene once, favor it and do not return to latex.
  2. SKYN Extra Lubricated adds 40% more long lasting, ultra silky lubricant — ensuring that you and your partner are in for a smooth ride.
  3. SKYN Large is the condom you choose if extra width or length is required for your guy’s comfort.
  4. LifeStyle’s SKYN Intense Feel is brand new, launched last month, and the world’s first ever non-latex studded condom. This polyisoprene condom features strategically placed studs to maximize pleasure and sensation for both partners.
  5. Beyond polyisoprene condom options, a fantastic new arrival to the scene is UNIQUE Pull Condom. This lesser known gem, made entirely from synthetic polyethylene resin, is both three times stronger and three times thinner than latex! Clear, odorless, and unbelievably thin.
  6. The FC2 internal condom (widely known as the “female” condom) is the only non-latex option available that works for couples no matter the penis size. The FC2 is also a fantastic option for men who have difficulty maintaining an erection when using condoms. And because you’ll be wearing the condom, it doesn’t matter what size penis is involved. This is a plus if your guy is on the larger or small end of the bell curve.
  7. Durex also returned to the latex free category with its off again on again non-latex offering now named Durex (Avanti Bare) Real Feel. The Real Feel is classic in shape and, like the SKYN line, is also made of polyisoprene.
  8. The final two latex free options are both by Trojan. The Supra Bareskin is currently the only male polyurethane condom. While polyurethane condoms are also odor-free and offer excellent body heat transmission, they do not share the elasticity and soft feel of polyisoprene.
  9. As the only natural skin condom available, Trojan Naturalamb condoms are made from a thin layer of sheep cecum (part of sheep intestines.) Many swear by these condoms for the sensitivity. Others can’t get over their smell. Either way, it’s important to note that these condoms do NOT protect against sexually transmitted infections.
  10. With several fantastic non-latex options to now choose from a Non-Latex Condom Sampler is the best and most affordable option for trying out a variety of the latex free condoms available without having to buy a box of each!

Condoms and lube can be tricky territory to navigate and we’re here to help. Contact Lucky Bloke privately (getlucky@luckybloke.com), and we’d be very happy to answer your safer sex questions, as well as help match you with the best condoms and lube available.

Unsure what size

Should I Buy Condoms For My Teen?

adam_condom

BY DR. KAREN RAYNE | KarenRayne.com

No side: BUT THEN THEY’LL HAVE SEX!
Yes side: But if they want to, they’ll have sex anyway.

I do an experiment with my classes every now and then, for fun. I ask them through an anonymous question and answer system whether they plan to have sex later in the day or that night. Because I do this with high school and college students, sometimes I have entire classes who don’t plan to have sex, but more commonly it’s a mix.

Then I pass out condoms.

And ask again whether anyone plans to have sex later that day or night.

And the answers never change. The students who were going to have sex (with or without protection) still will, the students who weren’t going to have sex still aren’t going to.

Providing condoms to young people doesn’t affect whether they’re going to have sex, but it does have the potential to affect whether they’re going to use condoms when they have sex.

And yes, it’s weird, it’s awkward, and other people might judge you for it. Supporting your child in protecting their sexual health is important – far more important than other people’s judgment.

One parent protested to me that she wanted her children to at least have to stop long enough to go and buy condoms before they had sex and that might make them stop long enough to decide not to do it.

Do you see the flaw in her reasoning? She assumed that her children:

• had the intellectual and emotional wherewithal to step out of an emotional and arousing experience,
• have a thoughtful conversation with their partner,
• find a way to a store,
• produce money,
• and look a clerk in the eye (or resolutely avoid it) as they bought condoms when they had zero experience talking about condoms and decision-making with adults, because she refused to have those conversations with her children or allow anyone else to have them.

The risk/reward breakdown here when compared to issue free, condom-less sex just doesn’t make sense for a teenager – and nor should it for a parent who isn’t pulling the wool over their own eyes.

Providing condoms for your teenagers and their friends – regardless of whether they’re actually having sex – normalizes the conversation and makes it that tiny bit more approachable. Lucky Bloke has some great condom sampler options – buy a few of them, toss all the condoms into a bowl, and leave the bowl on the back of the sink in the bathroom.

This is the beginning – or middle – of the parent/teen sex conversation, not the end. But it’s a fantastic stopping station that every parent should take advantage of.

rayne2sm DR. KAREN RAYNE With a doctoral degree is in Educational Psychology, Karen provides advice and support to parents on how to educate their children and teenagers about sex and sexuality. Karen’s knowledge about adolescent development and education provides her with a solid background for guiding parents through these tricky conversations. And, as a college professor, helping young adults grapple with sexuality, she is known to change student’s lives. On twitter @KarenRayne

Is My Penis Size Normal?

Photo credit: JD Hancock

Photo credit: JD Hancock

Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke once said, “Size does matter, but not in the way you might think.”

She was referring to the importance of wearing the right size condom. In order to experience more pleasurable with reliable safe sex, you need to know what condoms fit your penis size. Beyond that, size really isn’t as big a deal as many make it out to be.

Who does size really matter to most? Almost always it is men. One of the most common questions males ask Heather Corinna, founder of the sex education site, Scarleteen, is about penis size: Is my penis too small? Is the curve on my penis normal? Is my girlfriend going to find me weird?

According to this recent study that reviewed more than 60 years of research about penis size, 85% of women are satisfied with their partner’s penis. However, it also revealed that only half of men find their own size satisfactory.

So to help guys feel more comfortable, Heather Corinna breaks down actual penis size averages and goes into detail about erection size, shape and foreskin.

Here are some interesting and less known facts about penis size.

  • Average adult penis girth (erect) that fits a medium size condom is between 4 to 5 inches.
  • Average adult penis length (erect) is around 5.5 to 6.2 inches long.
  • The size of a flaccid penis does not indicate the size when aroused. For some, a flaccid penis can be the same size when erect. For others, an erection can grow double in size.
  • Erection size can vary day to day for men. It depends on the level of arousal.
  • A small degree of curvature is actually more common than a straight penis.

This article was originally published here.

BY HEATHER CORINNA | Scarleteen

Throw a rock at any sex education site or service, ask what the most common question we get is from people who identify as men and we’ll all tell you — with an air of exhaustion, mostly because we get asked it so often and it’s so clear to us how these worries hold men back from feeling good about themselves and their sexuality, as well as how they often negatively impact sexual relationships — that it’s about penis size.

While many statistics show that around half of all men are dissatisfied with their penis size (despite the fact that their partners don’t feel the same way), with younger men it often seems even more common.

One typical reason is that younger men will often have unrealistic ideas about penises. When you’re young, if you’re making comparison, they’re probably either to only a few different people — like your Dad, maybe your best friend, maybe a few guys you’ve seen in passing in the restroom — when the range of penis size varies enough that to get realistic ideas about it, we’ve got to be looking at more than just a few penises. With pornography becoming more and more accessible over the years, more guys are also looking at penises in porn, a really unrealistic place to look since the actors cast in porn don’t tend to be the norm at all when it comes to size or how long or often they can become or remain erect for.

Is my penis size normal?

Let’s start by looking at some basic averages, based on broad, credible studies of a variety of men. When you flip through most studies, what you’ll usually find is that:

– The average adult penis flaccid (not erect or soft) is around 3 to 4 inches long.
– The average adult penis erect (hard) is around 5.5 to 6.2 inches long.
– The average adult penis erect is around 4-5 inches around (in circumference).
This image based on a study done by Lifestyles condoms can give you a good look at what the size range between men is like.

What size a penis is when it’s flaccid (not erect) doesn’t necessarily indicate what size it will be erect. As I explain here, some penises flaccid are very nearly the same size as they are when they are erect, while others are smaller than they are erect. Neither “growers” nor “showers” are better than the other: they’re just different.

When looking at studies and statistics on penis size, pay attention to who measured the penises involved. In studies where people measure themselves and self-report, we usually see larger averages than we do when doctors or nurses are doing the measuring and reporting. As stated in this study by Ansell, where people were not self-measuring, when medical staff are the ones holding the tape measures, average sizes are always below six inches in length. They also note that looking at self-reporting studies, on average people seem to overstate their own penis sizes from a quarter to a half an inch.

(If you want to dig around for yourself, the kinds of studies our averages come from here can be found neatly organized in the notes for the Wiki on penis size here.)

Read the full article at Scarleteen.com

heatherHEATHER CORINNA is an activist, artist, author and the director of Scarleteen, the inclusive online resource for teen and young adult sex education and information. She is also the author of S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College and was a contributor to the 2011 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. She’s received the The Champions of Sexual Literacy Award for Grassroots Activism (2007), The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Western Region’s, Public Service Award (2009), the Our Bodies, Ourselves’ Women’s Health Heroes Award (2009), The Joan Helmich Educator of the Year Award (2012), and The Woodhull Foundation’s Vicki Award(2013).

Seductive At Any Size

seductressEvery woman, whether she knows it or not, is a seductress.

What is a “Sacred Seductress”? According to sex coach and writer, Kitty Cavalier, every woman- no matter her size, height, race, abilities, etc.- possesses the power of seduction.

To be “sexy” comes from confidence in one’s self. Sexiness is knowing that you are “perfectly imperfect”; that nothing about your body needs to change. A Scared Seductress invests in “true beauty” rather than “learned beauty”. Learned beauty involves trying to adhere to the narrow standards that society sets and defines as “beautiful”. True beauty, however, does not require validation from outside forces. As Ms. Cavalier writes, true beauty comes from a deeper place within; an unapologetic appreciation of one’s self and body.

For examples of what true beauty looks like, Kitty Cavalier shares an inspiring narrative. It’s a powerful piece that all woman should be able to say to themselves.

This post was originally published on Elle Chase’s SmutforSmarties.com 

BY KITTY CAVALIER | kittycavalier.com

One of the most undeniable virtues of a true Sacred Seductress is the way she loves her flesh. A Seductress loves every inch of her self: smooth skin, dimpled skin, parts that stick out, parts that just don’t. It is all as beautiful as a sunrise to her. Because of the conviction in her self-love, the judgments one usually makes about a female body seem to slip away when they are in her presence. She is that powerful.

When I say “Sacred Seductress”, you might be wondering what I mean.  Who I am talking about is you.  As a woman who teaches seduction, people always assume that I teach things like one-liners and mind games.  Hardly.  These things are not seductive.  They may have an instant effect of fascination or intrigue, but real seduction, true seduction, sacred seduction, comes from a much deeper place: a place of total, unapologetic authenticity. Seductive power and prowess is something we all possess. In my retreats it is never a matter of teaching a woman something new.  It is a matter of giving her permission to remember.

One of the greatest myths we are fed about seduction is that in order to be successful you must achieve a “perfect” aesthetic and body. What a crock of shit. A Seductress does not wait around for the “perfect body” to arrive in order to feel and know her full sensual and erotic power.  She understands that sexy is something that lives inside of her, rather than outside.  She sources her beauty from her ability to feel and just be, not how someone told her she should look.  The things she is told she should be ashamed of she flaunts rather than hides.  She treats them like the diamonds that they are: rare, beautiful, and perfectly imperfect.

Body hatred is an epidemic amongst women. We live in a culture that teaches us to believe that she must meet an impossible list of qualifications in order to feel “beautiful.” The tricky thing about this list of benchmarks however, is that there is not a woman alive who could even come close to meeting them all. For every woman who wishes her hips were smaller, there is a woman who wishes her hips were more round. For every woman who wishes her breasts were fuller, there is a woman wishing she could wear t-shirts without feeling self-conscious. It reminds me of the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” We are all striving so desperately to be perfect, sexy, beautiful, young; and yet it is this exact desperation to change what is already perfect that makes us all feel so downright ugly.

A Seductress transcends all of this by making the important distinction between true beauty, and learned beauty. Learned beauty is what we do when our sole purpose is to gain the approval of others based on what we have been told is beautiful. When we aim to achieve the beauty we have learned, we are dependent on external validation to convince us of our power and radiance. But a true Seductress knows with every fiber of her being that true beauty is eternal. It never leaves us. It does not change with our outfit or our hairstyle or our age. True beauty means that we need never pause in the mirror and ask ourselves “do I look beautiful right now?” True beauty needs never be questioned. It is a simple feminine truth.

This is a lesson that was not easily learned for me.  As a woman who spent half her life unable to wear short sleeves for fear of exposing even her arms, I have come a long way baby. Everyday I recommit to choosing to see past the bullshit that tells me that unless I walk around in a photo shop pod, I have reason to doubt myself.  I choose to honor, appreciate and revere the temple of my flesh.  I adore my body, and I wish the same for you.

Adoration

By Kitty Cavalier

 I adore My Body.

 It is so scrumptious and delicious, I just want to gobble myself up.

 I love my legs. They are like the most elegant champagne flutes. I imagine that if they were a food, they would taste like ladyfingers drizzled with chocolate and whipped cream.

I love my arms. I love the way they taper delicately at the wrist. I love their shape as I hold onto the subway rail. I love the way my muscles flex as I sway from side to side.

I love my breasts; they are like the ripest plum, hanging on a vine in Tuscany, warm from the sun.

I adore my hips. Their curves, the way I can grab the flesh on the bone. They give me a sense of home, like a crisp, brown Christmas turkey cooked with butter under the skin. Yum.

I love my Belly. I love the roundness of it. I love how authentically feminine it is. I love having it massaged in a warm bath with oil underwater.

I LOVE my shoulders, my clavicle, and my décolleté. My clavicle is like an Olympic ice skater. Graceful, elegant. A perfect ten. My décolleté; smooth like the frosting on top of a birthday cake. My shoulders, like marble pillars in the Sistine Chapel, holding everything together with strength, grace and beauty.

I love my hair. Like warm amber honey. Smooth, lustrous, sensuous.

I love my face. My eyes, like looking down an endless beach. My lips, like perfect velvet pillows you just want to sink into. My skin, like the creamy froth on top of a cappuccino.

I love being a woman.
I love being me.
In the words of Doris Day, “I enjoy being a girl.”

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kittycavalierKitty Cavalier is the author of Sacred Seduction: A Guidebook, Memoir and Tribute to the Art of Seduction. Kitty travels the world offering workshops, retreats and experiences teaching how to use seduction, not as a tool of manipulation, but as a spiritual practice and a pathway to a more pleasurable, sensual, well-lived life. Her work has been featured on Elle, Penthouse Magazine, The Daily Love, The Good Men Project, Psychology Today, Glimpse TV with Kate Northrup, and more. To contact Kitty visit her website and follow her on Twitter @kittycavalier!

Which Lubes Are Safe to Use With Condoms?

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Which Lubes Are Safe to Use With Condoms?

Lubrication isn’t something everyone considers carefully when it comes to safer sex. However, being prepared and having a favorite lube on hand can greatly increase pleasure.  After this video, you should be assured you’re using the correct lube for your safety and play.

In this video, Oh Megan discusses her favorite subject of lubes and tells us that:

  • Water based or silicon based lubes (and hybrids of each) are safe to use with latex and non-latex condoms.
  • Water based lubricants can easily be found at the supermarket. However, you may have to step outside of the supermarket to find premium lubes (here are some high quality lube samplers).
  • Megan recommends silicon-based Gun Oil and Pink for safer sex (not to be used with silicon-based toys!).
  • Oil-based lubricants are fantastic for non-condom use such as hand jobs or anal stimulation but that they can’t be used for vagina stimulation.
  • A great oil-based recommendations is Stroke 29 that changes consistency around the 29th stroke and makes the hand feel like the real deal.
  • You shouldn’t use any oils you find around the home like massage oil or cooking oil with latex because it increases the chance of breakage.
  • Don’t just go with the cheapest lube, look for positive consumer reviews.

This video was originally posted here

BY MEGAN ANDELLOUX | ohMegan.com

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megan_andellouxMEGAN ANDELLOUX  is a Clinical Sexologist and certified Sexuality Educator, listed on Wikipedia as one of the top sexuality educators in America, her innovative education programs, writing, social media presence, and ambitious speaking schedule has made her one of America’s most recognized and sought-after experts in the growing field of sexual pleasure, health, and politics.
Follow Megan on twitter @HiOhMegan